Reg Officer to TA queries

Apologies if you feel this should be in the recruitment thread.

I'm a Regular infantry captain who has served around 4 years. I'm currently exploring opportunities outside the Army (especially teaching) and I'm interested in joining the TA on leaving.

My main query is, how much say would I have in terms of hours I work in the TA infantry? I would like to subsidise my teaching salary with the TA income. For example, as a teacher you can expect approx 12 weeks off per year. Are there opportunities to work in that time or do you have to stick to certain hours within your unit?

Also, if I leave as a captain would I get to keep my rank? Or does each unit have a PID limitation and, therefore, I may not be able to enter that unit?

Apologies if any of this comes across as naive. My experience with the TA is very limited and I am only in the very tentative stages of exploring other careers.

You should be able to get what you want without too many problems however each unit is different! There are also a few other options that you may not have considered such as going to the Local OTC as an Officer Instructor initially - you will technically be a student too and there may be more opportunities to work in your vacation...


Book Reviewer
Your biggest issue would be the inability to make annual camp if it occurs outside the school holidays and be forced to attend courses in lieu during the Easter or Summer breaks. Note also that your PGCE/GTP and subsequent NQT year in teaching are fairly rammed and you may find yourself stretched in to commit as much as you would like.

zenith69uk's suggestion above reference instructing at your local OTC is a good one. I know of teachers in the TA who have done just that and it generally seems to fit better with work. Instructing OTC cadets has its own challenges and is perhaps not for everyone, but life's a long song ...
Have a chat with your local TA battalion and see what they have to offer. I think things will vary incredibly across the TA. My own battalion is choc full of eager young subbies, so your might have to be willing to travel for an available slot (that said, there's a vacancy for a Coy OC if you feel like stepping up :) ), but apparently there's a deficit of Junior Officers in the TA as a whole so most units should bite your arm off.

Good luck with whatever you choose to go with!


Book Reviewer
I would like to subsidise my teaching salary with the TA income. For example, as a teacher you can expect approx 12 weeks off per year.
Friend of mine's a teacher. She spends several evenings a week marking coursework/homework, together with preparing lessons. She also does some training in school breaks.

I'd do some enquiring about how much free time a teacher actually gets...

My long term girlfriend is a senior school teacher, so I am aware of hours worked and the commitments they have. I feel it would not be a problem sticking to the mandated drill night and two week camp (taken into consideration the earlier comment from RP 578).

I was mainly wondering if I would be able to work more hours in the 12-13 weeks that a teacher gets off per year.

Thanks for the replies
This has come up in conversation very recently at our place.
If you are going to do this can I recommend that you have a conversation with your RCMO before you leave regular service, you should then be able to 'transfer' straight across (it might also be an idea to identify the unit you wish to go to and get in touch with their Adjt to smooth the way). We are currently taking any ex-regular that does that with their previous rank, effectively overbearing if there is already somebody of that rank and no free PIDs.

I am a Teacher, and did my PGCE six years ago whilst a Pl Sjt. I found it easy enough to balance the demands of the course and the TA, and the extra money was quite useful! It is just about organising your time effectively and prioritising. Any teacher thats whinges about spending all holiday working is doing something wrong!
Even now, I don't find too much of a problem balancing the two. There are clearly times when the workload increases throughout the year, but the only time my teaching has impacted my attendance at TA is when a parents evening has gone on past the time when I should be on the way to the TAC.
Annual Camp/Courses can be an issue, but my contract states that as a member of the reserve forces I am entitled to two weeks unpaid leave in order to attend annual camp. This is however at the Heads discretion, and there are times when, morally, it would be inappropriate to take time off. My school are very supportive, in fact I've just had two weeks to do a course.
Of course this varies from school to school.

If you have any questions about the PGCE or teaching, feel free to PM me.


Book Reviewer
....and I've no idea why there is a blue smiley face in my last post.
When you next post, under the box you type text into, click the 'Go Advanced' button and you'll see a check box for the option of 'Disable smilies in text'.

Problem solved for that post.

Oh and yes! There is generally plenty of thingsyou can do during holidays. All 13 lovely weeks of them!!
But are there enough MTDs to fill them?
A few pointers that may assist you!

Get your last 3 OJARs printed out ready to go
Get a copy of your SC cert, this will need to be transferred; your current Career Manager can deal with this for you
Get a copy of your latest medical result;

If you feel things are going very slowly; mention the words RARO, that will get you in for a year without all the admin crap.
May be asking for trouble here, but....RARO? I'm guessing Regimental _____ _____ Officer?.....

Regular Army Reserve of Officers. IIRC one drop in and out of it even from a TA "career".

Have you considered an RTC role? Most RTCs dont have drill nights, and run extra courses in the summer, such as Saxon/Summer Challenge?
It hink the idea of transfering across inter-regiment is a good idea, same cap badge COs can chat about where you are best placed.

A word of warning though - there are folks in the TA that can be a little chippy and at times have an inflated view of themselves and may not treat you with open arms. Referred to in another thread as " you may have done an Ashes tour in Australia, but the Sunday league team don't rate you, cos they haven't seen you bat"
It hink the idea of transfering across inter-regiment is a good idea, same cap badge COs can chat about where you are best placed.

A word of warning though - there are folks in the TA that can be a little chippy and at times have an inflated view of themselves and may not treat you with open arms. Referred to in another thread as " you may have done an Ashes tour in Australia, but the Sunday league team don't rate you, cos they haven't seen you bat"
Perhaps there are chippy tw*ts out there, and they should be ashamed. More likely, there is the evil cackling laughter of APC trying to break things. Oooooh, you can't go from Reg to TA, it's a different department. We'll need to make you fill in a transfer form, that the receiving unit has to send to us twice, to be lost in a pile for a couple of months while your pay details are lost, before someone uses a quill pen to copy your details from one system to another, with transcription errors. Then who locks it in a drawer before going off long-term sick. Before it's filed in a locked cabinet, in an unlit cellar that no-one has keys for, behind a door marked "Beware of the Leopard". To be recovered only after the enthusiasm-detector has hit zero.

In my time, our battalion had two ex-regular Captains who arrived and became OCs within a couple of years; and an ex-regular Lt who eventually made CO (having spent much of the intervening time on FTRS). We also had a couple of ex-regulars who turned up and were good value for a short while, before their new jobs took them elsewhere; it was great to have them around while it lasted.

There is wariness from those who have seen more than one "genuinely enthusiastic but who suddenly discover attendance is an unforeseen problem" ex-regulars. I can think of one ex-regular who joined us after impressing the CO at his interview. He then attended exactly one weekend and zero training nights after his appointment as Coy 2ic (apparently he spent most of the weekend drinking tea and catching up with the ex-regular NCOs) before never showing up again, including twice failing to turn up for an arranged-well-in-advance interview with his new OC (me), and twice failing to bother to call and either warn before, or apologise afterwards. Presumably he was miffed that the TA had failed to recognise his undoubted brilliance, or maybe he viewed a posting to Motherwell as a deadly insult; but a non-attending career astronaut is much less use than a regular-attending solid performer, so we sacked him and replaced him with another ex-regular.

The TA know that there's a big readjustment when taking on a new career, and that attendance suffers - please don't take it personally if there is a slight delay, once you've turned up for a couple of weekends you'll be "rated" by your performance on the last weekend, just like anyone else. The limiting factor in most organisations is "not having enough good people", so if you're good and you turn up, you'll go far.

PS The Officer role in the TA can be slightly different from in the regulars. Part of this is lack of experience in how the Regular Army does in-barracks routine; the TA approach is more ad-hoc, and you're likely to find yourself doing things that you wouldn't do in a Regular unit. It doesn't always mean that the TA is broken or slack, it just has different processes.
on just one point - if you are joining the TA to supplement your income as an officer, you are joining for the wrong reasons. join because you want to, and you won't know if you want to until you have visited a few units - do not rely on having met some territorials on ops - go and see a TAC at work and get to know some of the officers - if you like them and they like you and you like what they do, then fine, join.

the pay is a bonus, not the raison-d'etre

my standard line to regular leavers, when they suggested they joined whilst looking for a job.. was... get a job, get stuck into your job, get your civvy life started and sorted - then come back and see us.
Join the unit of your choice, do the Tuesdays and weekends and represent the unit at your local RTC during summer challenge. Jobs a good un. Know a couple of teachers who do just that. Only problem will be with course dates if you rebadge and need to qualify or need any promotion/requalification courses, if theyre not run during the school holidays you basically wont be able to do them. Rank, you'll more than likely be able to keep but as you alluded to there may be PID issues with certain units. The old adage "dont rely on TA pay" still rings true. If youre just after extra income pick up a weekend shift in a bar or Tesco, at least you know when youll be working and when youll be paid.

Oh and if you do go for it good luck and prepare to spend your spare time doing reams and reams of wanky paperwork that means nothing but needs to be done and signed off because hey.... were one army now so a TA unit needs to produce the exact same paperwork as their regular counterparts.... when theyre not doing the wanky paperwork that pays the mortgage.
Being a teacher and having fixed holidays should not affect your ability to attend Camp. Assuming your Head is not rabidly anti STAB

My first Platoon Commander was a Secondary School Teacher. He was entitled to Special Leave just like any other Civil Servant. I'm not sure that schools would welcome disrupting their pupils in the run up to exams but he certainly did both Ex Lionheart 84 and Ex Keystone 87. Both were autumn exercises and both during the school term

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